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"Cad atá ar súil agat ?" - What are you doing?

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Fine Gael Doners Brother On Board Of Irish Water.

waterPer yesterdays Irish Times (29th Oct 2014) the brother of a Fine Gael financial donor was appointed to the board of Irish Water. Mr Andrew Sheehy is recorded as having given €1,000 to M/s Lucinda Creighton, when she was then contesting a Dáil seat for Fine Gael. Ms Creighton is reported to have stated that Mr Sheehy “made a donation to my campaign in 2007, but I don’t really know the guy.”

Mr Andrew Sheehy is recorded under Standards in Public Office (SIPO) records as having donated €1,000 to Ms Lucinda Creighton in 2007, when she then contested and eventually won a Dáil seat in the constituency of Dublin South East. Mr Sheehy’s  SIPO declaration lists his address as Cashel, Co Tipperary.

According to the Irish Times, Mr Andrew Sheehy’s brother is listed as Colman Francis Sheehy in the Companies Registration Office (CRO) under records held on behalf of Irish Water. Information supplied on the Irish Water website shows Mr Coleman Sheehy named as one of the board members and confirms he is “involved in property investment and development.” Mr Sheehy’s appointment was approved by the then ministers Phil Hogan and Pat Rabbitte in November 2013.

Only two members of Irish Water’s board applied for their positions through a public recruitment process, according to records released by the Department of the Environment. None of the remaining board members, who are each entitled to an annual fee of €15,000, went through the same process and each was hand-picked by Ervia, latter new name for former Bord Gais.

In CRO documents confirming his directorship of Irish Water, Mr Sheehy’s current occupation is listed as; Property Consultant and director of Melot Properties Limited. His brother Mr Andrew Sheehy is also listed as another director of Melot Properties Ltd..

Mr Andrew Sheehy is known to socialise in Fine Gael circles, and is understood to be an associate of Mr Frank Quilter, a well-known national figure in the Fine Gael party.  Co Kerry native Mr Frank Quilter is also among a number of ten donors listed as having donated €1,000 each to Ms Creighton campaign in 2007.

Press Realise By Thurles Right2Water Committee

Thurles Demonstration For Our Right To Water

Suir

Mr Michael Lange, newly appointed Chairman of Thurles Right2water Committee reports.

Formation of the Thurles Right2Water committee.

“I am pleased to announce the formation of the Thurles right2water committee. The committee has been formed as a cross party, non-political forum to provide voice and direction for the people of Thurles against current unfair and inequitable water charges.
The water charges in their current form drastically punish middle and low income earners while having almost no effect on higher earners. Since the introduction of austerity many families and households around the country, particularly in Tipperary, have struggled to make ends meet.

During the winter many households already have to choose between heat or food on a daily basis. I believe that the water charges represent a huge injustice on these people and indeed on all of the people of Ireland. When “pay by metering” for water is introduced will households now also have to choose which child’s turn it is to have a shower on a given day? For me the constant slide in the standard of living experienced since the onset of austerity has taken a leap into the obscene.
We simply cannot afford to pay any more. Health care, property tax, universal social charge, education fees increasing, road tax, stealthy reduction of tax credits in the budget of 2013, the list goes on and on. We are already struggling to keep our heads above water. There is no more blood to be squeezed out of this stone.

We constantly hear about a recovery in the country at the moment, I ask a recovery for whom? Yes jobs are returning into the economy, but what standard of living do we now have as a result of the payment from those jobs? Look to your own lives, your own households, your own families, your own weekly finances and ask yourself are you part of this recovery? Look at your own access to services here in Thurles and in county Tipperary and ask yourself are you feeling the recovery, has austerity ceased to be harsh on you?

We already pay for our water. The Irish people pay 1.2 billion Euro per year for water through general taxation. At the last attempt to introduce water charges in Ireland between 1994 and 1997 there were extensive national protests. There was also a national boycott campaign. The then government capitulated to the pressure the people of Ireland imposed on them. Instead of charges they increased the rate of motor tax and VAT and diverted these extra funds towards local authorities to fund the cost of providing water to the public.

Continue reading Press Realise By Thurles Right2Water Committee

No Reduction in Tipperary’s Local Property Tax

moneyTime to “pack your load and be on the road” to Dublin or overseas as our combined Tipperary Councillors were forced to vote 29 to 10, to maintain the current status quo, thus clarifying that there will be no reduction in Tipperary’s Local Property Tax for next year.

Figures published by the Department of the Environment have revealed in recent weeks that revenues from the property tax here in Co Tipperary was far lower than was actually required to  run our county’s basic services.

Tipperary Councillors were therefore forced to vote to maintain the status quo, having being told that a 15% reduction would only benefit householders to the tune of €0.58 per week, but would further constitute a reduction in existing essential funding required to provide services like road maintenance,  housing, burial grants, arts grants, burial grants and annual Christmas lighting.

Despite the forecast of a €6 million Euro saving made from the merging of North and South Tipp County Councils earlier this year, Tipperary stands to acquire the second highest amount under Equalisation Funding.

Tipperary County Council’s CEO Mr Joe MacGrath confirmed that to meet Tipperary’s financial burden and ensure that services are basically maintained, €22.76 million will be required from central government.  While only €9.8 million is collected from Tipperary property owners, this estimate demonstrates a €13 million deficit in our county’s finances or €7 million less than Dublin expects to spend on cleaning up our capital’s image and designing that new logo for the city.

This is what happens to a community left totally ignored by government, due to all emerging employment prospects being conferred on just a few areas and with about 10 councils nationally only able to introduce a 15% cut in property tax next year, without harming their existing services.

Death Of Former Taoiseach Mr Albert Reynolds

A-ReynoldsIt is with deepest regret, we learn of the death of former Taoiseach and business entrepreneur, Mr Albert Reynolds, who died shortly before 3.00 am this morning, at the age of 81.

Mr Reynolds served as Taoiseach for almost three years and was regarded as one of the most influential leaders in Ireland’s history; making a lasting contribution to our country’s peace process through his partnership with England’s Sir John Major and which led to the Downing St. Declaration of 1993.

The straight-talking, risk-taking businessman and influential leader, who worked his way up the political ladder to lead Fianna Fáil in two coalition governments, was a native of Rooskey, Co. Roscommon.

First elected to the Dáil for the Longford/Westmeath constituency in 1977 representing Fianna Fáil;  Mr Reynolds, within two years, moved up the government ranks to be appointed a government Minister.

As Minister for Posts and Telegraphs he helped revolutionise Ireland’s weak telecommunications system, transforming it, despite much pessimistic criticism, into one of the best communications systems in Europe. Later, as Minister for Finance from 1988 to 1991, he reduced all personal tax rates for the first time in over 20 years.

Elected Taoiseach in 1992, Mr Reynolds worked tirelessly with the then Prime Minister Sir John Major, Gerry Adams and SDLP leader John Hume to try to deliver much needed stability to Northern Ireland. The Downing Street Declaration, co-signed with British Prime Minister Sir John Major on December 15th, 1993, finally paved the way for an IRA ceasefire in 1994. Same in turn led loyalist paramilitaries to declare an end to terrorism, and this signing would paved the way to laying the foundations for the eventual signing of the Good Friday Agreement  in 1998.

Following a dispute with Fianna Fáil’s then coalition partner, the Labour party, Mr Reynolds resigned as leader of Fianna Fáil and as Taoiseach in 1994.  Mr Reynolds suffered political defeat in 1997 in an internal Fianna Fáil election to determine the party’s Presidential Candidate; beaten by Belfast-born academic Mrs Mary McAleese, latter who went on to win the Presidency and who served as head of state for two terms. Mr Reynolds later retired from politics in 2002 having serving some 25 years as an Irish TD.

Mr Reynolds had been diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, requiring 24-hour care and was in his later years reported as being unable to enter into conversation.
History records his full contribution to Irish life as being among some of this nation’s most significant achievements.

Mr Reynolds is survived by his wife Kathleen, two sons and five daughters.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

Payments Of €891,583 For Redundant Tipperary Councillors

tippSome 200 former councillors will share over €5.4 million in severance payments from twelve local authorities. These same Councillors have either retired or lost favour with their electorate, following the recent Local Elections or through the abolition of Borough and Town Councils.

North and South Tipperary recently merged into Tipperary County Council, will make payments, in all, totalling more than €1 million to its former  councillors. The bulk of this payment will go to 49 former county and town Councillors who have already reached the age of 50 and who will receive some €891,583 divided between them.

A further 22 former councillors who have not as yet reached their fiftieth year will be entitled to €191,000 between them, based on the amount they were receiving in representational payments. However, these amounts will have to be recalculated on the pay rate in place at the time each councillor eventually reach their fiftieth year.

Severance Payments For Redundant Co Tipperary Councillors

South Tipperary County Council €318,775
Jack Crowe €64,160;  Sean Mc Carthy €61,665;  Billy Shoer €37,552;  Joe O’Donovan €47,705;  Liam Ahearne €33,278;  Sean Lonergan €33,278;  Sylvia Cooney Sheehan €24,535;  Tom Acheson €16,603.

North Tipperary County Council €259,200
Denis Ryan €57, 685;  Jim Casey €57,685;  Billy Clancy €16,603;  Eddie Moran €16,603;  John Kennedy €37,142;  John Rocky Mc Grath €16,603;  Pauline Coonan €35,504 and Virginia O Dowd €21,376.

Clonmel Borough Council €78,240
Brian O’Donnell €27,738;  Dinny Dunne €24,165;  Gabrielle Egan €9,725;  Joe Leahy €8,306;  Teresa Ryan €8,306.

Templemore Town Council €64,725
Marcus Wilson €14,239;  Jim O Shea €12,083; Lily O’ Brien €13,868;  Martin Fogarty €4,151;  Maura Byrne €4,151;  Michael C Ryan €4,151;  Michael Connell €12,083.

Tipperary Town Council €49,801
Anna Tuohy Halligan €12,083;  Billy Bourke €13,868;  Brian Rafferty €4,151;  John Wallace €9,702;  John P Hartnett €1,680;  Mary Swords €8,317.

Cashel Town Council €44,790
Dan Dillon €12,083; Eddie Bennett €12,083;  Joe Moloney €16,475;  Maribel Wood €4,151.

Thurles Town Council €30,503
John Kenehan €13,868;  Michael Grogan €8,317;  Noel O’Dwyer €8,317.

Carrick Town Council €24,920
Patsy Fitzgerald €8,317;  Margaret Croke €4,151;  Martin Henzey €4,151; Pierce O Loughlin €4,151;  Richie O Neill €4,151.

Nenagh Town Council €20,628
Tom Mulqueen €13,868;  Jimmy Moran €4,151;  Tommy Morgan €2,610.

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